A group of our year 10 boys recently went on the annual weekend Classics trip to Hadrian’s Wall, as part of their GCSE Latin studies. Despite reports of heavy rain and flooding in the area in the week before their departure, the weather was largely favourable and they were able to continue with the proposed itinerary uninterrupted.
Mr Ben Harrison gives us his report of the weekend:
First port of call was the Roman fort of Vindolanda, home to the famous Vindolanda writing tablets, where we received a talk from the deputy director of excavations, Justin Blake. After an interesting couple of hours exploring the site, the group returned to our accommodation at Birdoswald, a renovated farmhouse within the confines of a Roman Fort. In the evening, we were fortunate to receive a visit from Maximus, a centurion in the 6thLegion, who trained the boys as recruits for the Roman Army and let them try out weapons and equipment!
On Saturday, we visited the Roman Army Museum which included an excellent 3D film – ‘The Edge of Empire’. After this came the highlight of the trip, the scenic three mile walk along the wall from Steel Rigg to Housesteads. Plenty of cake stops ensured that the boys’ energy levels and morale remained high as we visited Corbridge Roman Town and Chesters Fort before the end of the day. Some excellent performances in the evening quiz proved that the boys had taken in a great deal over the course of the day!
To conclude the trip, we travelled towards Newcastle to see the parts of the wall still visible in urban areas. After a brief stop at Wallsend metro station, where the signs are all in Latin, we visited the site of Segedunum, where there is a reconstruction of a bath house and a viewing tower over the whole fort. Our final stop took in Arbeia, another fort just south of Newcastle, where the boys were able to explore the reconstructed gatehouse.
The attitude and conduct of the boys was excellent throughout the weekend and they demonstrated genuine enthusiasm for and interest in every aspect of the trip. This contributed greatly to what was a very enjoyable and successful weekend.
For more photos click the link below: